• Rebranding in the Cloud: Microsoft SkyDrive is now OneDrive

    Microsoft on Monday announced that it’s much loved cloud storage service, Microsoft SkyDrive is now rechristened OneDrive. Interesting indeed is the choice for the word ’ONE’! Earlier Google too has imbibed this concept, ‘One account. All of Google’.

    Fig: The new location for the rebranded Microsoft SkyDrive, OneDrive – Coming Soon!

    As Ryan Gavin, General Manager, Consumer Apps & Services (Microsoft) justifies: The name OneDrive acknowledges and celebrates the coming together of ideas, innovation, security and more… in O-N-E place.

    With mobile device(s) becoming an integral part of our lives intertwined with every memorable incidents captured through lens or documented; it has now become essentially important to store these photos, videos and important document safely and securely and in ONE place. This is from where the whole idea about Microsoft OneDrive is born.

    OneDrive: The Story behind….

    Well, it would not be entirely right to say that OneDrive is born now; in fact, what we witness now is a rebranding of the popular Microsoft cloud service brand, SkyDrive. With more than 250 million subscribers to its credit, OneDrive, or the erstwhile SkyDrive has been one of the most trusted cloud storage space since 2007.

    As Ryan Gavin puts it, it was not at all an easy task to change the product name of a hugely popular brand name like SkyDrive. In fact, Microsoft after a bitter trademark battle in July, 2013 had to concede to BSkyB over the SkyDrive trademark.

    The trademark war ignited after the UK-based Sky Broadcasting Company BSkyB, urged Microsoft to refrain from using its trademarked ‘Sky’ name. And when the latter refused to relent, BSkyB took its complaint to the European Union claiming that the name was infringing on its copyright and appealed that Microsoft be forced to change it.

    A UK court gave its ruling in favor of BSkyB, and although Microsoft initially threatened to appeal; both parties later announced arriving at a mutually beneficial settlement, which primarily included giving Microsoft “a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand”.


    Now after almost 6 months, Microsoft has taken the ruling in its stride and have come up with OneDrive, which as true to its name promises to convey the value it can deliver for its users and reciprocate Microsoft’s vision for the future.

    In a statement to its 250 million+ user base for SkyDrive (now OneDrive), Microsoft added: “We’re glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you.”

    OneDrive: To deliver Skydrive + More

    Microsoft SkyDrive has been a trendsetter when it comes to in-the-cloud storage. It made its presence felt in 2007, much before the concept of cloud storage was popularized (courtesy Apple iCloud); and the more than 250 million users is a testimony of its credibility. Compatible with most platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, SkyDrive offers a free space of 7GB and a premium space of $50/year for 100GB.

    Fig: The above message clearly prepares its loyal customer for the transition, as SkyDrive rebrands to OneDrive

    Simple, clear and consistent interface has always been the USP of Microsoft SkyDrive, and OneDrive promises to carry this trend forward with more enhanced features. The latest announcement from Microsoft promises OneDrive to be bigger and better than SkyDrive since it terms the renamed service as “an even better place” for storage and sharing, and adds that OneDrive “is everything you love about SkyDrive and more.”

    Microsoft has assured all users of SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro that your cloud storage services will continue to operate unhindered and all of your content will be available on ‘OneDrive’ and ‘OneDrive for Business’ respectively.

    Microsoft on a Rebranding drive?

    As Microsoft makes the paradigm shift of rebranding SkyDrive to OnDrive, it has now become a driver of Microsoft’s efforts to provide cloud-based services that extend across product lines. In fact, after battling out in courts over the ‘Sky’ trademark, BSkyB and Microsoft have resolved issues and are even working together to offer Sky programming on the Xbox One video game/entertainment console.

    However, this is not an isolated rebranding drive of a highly popular product for the technology major. In mid-2012, Microsoft shied away from the name ‘Metro’ it had initially promoted for its tile-based interface in Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Even though it was officially stated that the change was simply because ‘Metro style’ was a project codename during the product development cycle, there has been reports of a possible infringement case with German Company, Metro AG.

    There has also been reports of Microsoft in the process of rebranding its Office Web Apps, i.e. the free online versions of its Office productivity tools, by changing its name to Office Online.
    Are do we get to see any more rebranding missions in the offing?


    Microsoft has made its intention clear when it announces in its rebranding message stating “OneDrive” as the “one place for all your documents.” Absolutely well strategized as it sounds, Microsoft has been increasingly steering its customers toward using its cloud storage services platform, even giving away 200GB of free storage for two years to anyone who makes SkyDrive the default storage space for documents, or buys a Surface tablet. Are you O-N-E with it?